It’s been a while since I’ve written anything about Australia, but Easter holiday is approaching, and I think Australia would be an ideal destination for this festive period!
To be honest, I think Brisbane is an under rated city of Australia. People always say it’s boring, it’s got nothing there, it’s slow etc… but as a person who grew up in Brisbane, I can tell you otherwise. Especially in the last few years, the city has evolved from a very quiet second tier city, to a more sophisticated stylish town!
However, today, instead of showing you the busy stylish side of Brisbane, I’d like to take you out to Sandgate, a park that’s approximately an hour drive away from the city.
The Arthur Davis Park may look very ordinary, just like most of the other parks, it’s filled with greeneries, children facility, some picnic area. But here, you also have a walkaway built along the water, and you can view one of the most magnificent sunset here!
BUT!! Although the sunset is good, it’s not the reason why I wrote this post, it’s the little creatures that you can see here! During low tides, you can walk out to the sandy beaches, and see hundreds and thousands of the cute little crabs!! The view is spectacular!
I remembered when I first saw it, my jaws nearly dropped! It’s kind of surreal! If you want to see this natural phenomenon, be sure to visit during low tides time and try your luck!
Here’s a video of it! It’s very shaky, but it’ll give you an idea of how it looks like! I hope you guys will get to witness this too! It’s truly amazing!
As our itinerary at Lake Naivasha was quite chilled, so we ended up spending quite some time at where we stay. The lodge was suggested by our tour operator due to it’s convenient location to the lake, though we did not think much about it before we arrived, but we left the place with a big smile on our face looking forward to our next visit here.
The lodge is situated at the edge of Lake Naivasha, so guests can freely take a stroll along the lake any time. There are boat operators there as well so making the boat ride very easy and convenient. The whole lodge is surround by lush green trees, with a lovely garden in the middle, you can hear the birds sing during the day, and the whole place is just very tranquil and relaxing.
There are a total of 20 well furnished tent cabins in total, each comes with wooden flooring , en-suit bathrooms with hot and cold running water with flushing toilets. Each tent cabin is nicely decorated to give them the African traditional tent look with all the comforts of a home. The tents are so big that you can literally throw a party in each one of them!
The thing that I loved most about this place is the people. Every single one of the staffs we have met here are amazing. They always have a smile on their face, and will go out of their ways to help you. The dining was also another highlight of this place. Whether it be a set menu, or the buffet, the dishes are so nicely cooked that I can’t seem to have enough of. I understand that taste may be subjective, but at least I’ve really enjoyed them.
There aren’t any special dance nor performance here at night, though the staffs will set up a camp fire out on the filed, where guests can mingle and have a great night.
Overall, I would highly recommend anyone in the Lake Naivasha are, who wants to experience great hospitality in a tranquil and peaceful environment to stay here, you will not be disappointed.
After departing Lake Nakuru, we drove about 2 hours to another famous spot of the Great Rift Valley – Lake Naivasha. Situated at a high altitude of 1,884m above sea level, this place is home to hundreds different species of birds, and of course, the famous Hippos!
Usually there are a few activity options for those who travel here:
Hell’s Gate National Park – You can hike, bike, walk along the crater, and get close to the wild animals here
Crescent Island – A privately owned sanctuary, where you can freely roam around, and get close with the giraffes
Lake Naivasha Boat Ride – Go on a boat ride around the lake, where the local tour guide can show you the different species of birds and of course, get close to the hippos
Private Safari nearby
As my aunty and I wanted to have a relax day, so we have decided to do something that doesn’t need too much energy – we booked a tour where they will take us on a boat ride along the lake, and then drop us off at Crescent Island where we can walk at our own pace.
The total cost of the boat ride and the transfer to and from Crescent Island, including entrance admission is at US$50, which is relatively reasonable. We weren’t so lucky that day, as we were not able to see much of the hippo, even though our guide did try his best to attract their attention, but the hippos are just so very relaxed and couldn’t care less about our existence… very shy hippos maybe…
The birds here are truly amazing! We saw pelicans, fish eagles, and lots of other birds which I have never seen before, nor heard of.
One of the ones that made a special impression to me is this cute small bright yellow bird, where their nest are as colourful as they are! Impressive!
The walk at Crescent Island was quite a pleasant one. When we got off the boat, our guide walked up the hill with us, showed us the approximate location of where each species of animals are, and then we are free to roam around. We were allowed to walk to anywhere on the island, except we were warned NOT to get close to the buffalo, as they can get very very aggressive.
I got so very excited getting so close to the giraffes!!
If you are looking for a chill relax day in-between all your safaris, a visit to Lake Naivasha and the Crescent Island isn’t a bad choice at all.
The Sarova Lion Hill Game Lodge is situated inside Lake Nakuru National Park along the Lion Hill, overlooking the panoramic view of Lake Nakuru. As it’s so close to the lake, you can expect to see all those water loving animals the moment you exit the lodge’s gate! The location of the lodge is excellent, as it’s only minutes away from the game drive area, so you can really maximize your safari time.
Since we arrived the lodge a bit later than anticipated (can refer to the last post entry about the incidents we had with the corrupted police), we didn’t have much time to waste before our first game drive. I must say that the staffs here were extremely helpful! Understanding that we wereon a tight time line, instead of making us wait at the front desk while checking in, they urged us to go and enjoy our lunch first while they helped us to process our check in and spa request. Once we have finished our lunch, our room and spa treatment were all ready and booked, though unfortunately their spa is so popular that they were only able to book an appointment for one person, instead of for both myself and my aunty.
The environment of the lodge was amazing! It’s surrounded with acacia trees, greenery everywhere you go, and we can hear the singing of birds, which is very calm and peaceful. The room is a decent size, with chairs outside which you can relax on and adore the beautiful surroundings. The beds were very clean and comfortable, and there’s hot water running 24 hours a day, so you can have a hot shower anytime you wish.
The Flamingo restaurant has lots of natural lighting, and you can truly relax there and enjoy your meal with the picturesque scene of the lush ground surrounding. The restaurant provide a wide variety of food choices in buffet style, and complimentary afternoon tea is served in their tea house, so you can always enjoy a cuppa before or after your game drive.
There are three must dos at the lodge! Try their award winning spa, watch and participate at their exciting night show, and must visit their gift store Adia!
The Sarova Lion Hill game lodge’s Tulia spa is a 2018 World’s Luxury Spa Winner. The treatment is nestled in a tent by the swimming pool, and you can choose from a wide variety of treatment depending on your budget and time. Be sure to make a booking in advance, as this spa is quite popular amonst the guests.
The Rift Valley Bar opens out into an amphitheatre where traditional dance performances are held each evening at 7pm. Unlike most other Masai performances held in the other hotels, the performance here is done by a Kenyan dance group, where they combine acrobats and traditional dance move together, which really is quite unique. It is advised to arrive the venue earlier, as there’s limited seating, else you will need to stand up for the whole show.
Lastly, before you leave the lodge, make sure you visit the gift shop Adia, where you will find gifts and souvenirs unlike any others offered outside. They partner with a lot of the local NGO and organisation, selling hand made crafts made by locals, ranging from toys to bags, helping the local community. I’ve bought a hand knitted giraffe plushie here, which I were not able to find anywhere else during my trip. Each of the plushie was signed by the creator, which really makes it unique and personal.
I would highly recommend anyone travelling to Lake Nakuru to stay at the Sarova Lion Hill Game Lodge, and I can assure you that you will not be disappointed!
Amboseli National Park is located approximately 260 km away from the city center of Nairobi. With its magnificent location at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro – Africa’s highest mountain, combined with the abundance of wildlife encounter, makes it one of the most-visited safari parks in Kenya just after Masai Mara.
The name “Amboseli” comes from a Maasai word meaning “salty dust”, and this stunning Safari Park consists of five different wildlife habitats: open plains, acacia woodlands, rocky thorn-bush, swamps and marshland. With the advantage of the different habitats, you are able to encounter a wide range of wild animals here, ranging from the the feisty lions to the gentle gazelles etc.
Moving from Hokkaido (the North-est part of Japan), to Okinawa (the South-est part of Japan), I’d like to share with you my recent trip to Okinawa a few weeks back.
A lot of people think of Okinawa as a summer destination, all the beautiful white sandy beaches, blue cave diving, sun bathing and reading a book etc… but a lot of you didn’t know, there are still quite some places and things you can do in Okinawa during winter time! I’d like to show you a few of them in my next few entries.
During my recent trip, I visited this really cute tree house cafe called the Beach Rock Cafe. It’s nestled and hidden in the deep forest of the Nakajin area, indeed it was so hidden that Google, nor the car GPS can take you there. I had to ask around a couple of times for direction before I manager to find this narrow entry leading onto the bumpy mountain road, but, it’s all worth it!
Beach Rock Cafe is actually ran by the Beach Rock Theater Group. This place is their stage where they do performances, as well as providing camping/glamping, different activities, as well as a cafe. As my trip was short, so I did not have time to join their performances nor activities, but I did spend a chilled afternoon relaxing on their tree terrace, browsing at the amazing forest scene.
I can almost say, it is no doubt that seafood taste better in Hokkaido than anywhere else in Japan! During my recent trip to Hakodate, it’s like a seafood fiesta, and sea urchin is one that should not be missed!
Although Japan is not the only place that have sea urchin, other countries such as Canada, Korea also have them, but, the ones in Japan is still the top of the rank! There is a very famous sea urchin restaurant inside the Hakodate Seafood market called Murakami (むらかみ), and is popular amongst both the locals and the tourists. Although you cannot order which sea urchin, but instead, the chef will only serve you the seasonal best at that time.
We went there around 11:30am on a weekday, and there was already a line waiting. We waited for about half an hour before we were seated. The restaurant is quite small, and can only accommodate approximately 30 customers at one time. The lunch menu is also quite simple, ranging from around 1500yen to 5000yen per dish.
So I’ve just came back from a family trip in Ishigaki Island of Okinawa, and had an amazing time. Before I start writing about this wonderful island of Japan, I’d like to first share with you a little learning I’ve got from my car rental this time.
I’ve done so many car rentals thru out Japan, with both big and small companies. I usually tend to rent from bigger dealers as they seems to be more trust worthy, and their websites are usually fairly easy to navigate around.
This time, as I was travelling with my family in a group of 11 people, we wanted to rent the bigger people movers. After looking thru both English and Japanese websites, there’s only one car rental company that had the car we wanted during that period, so with no choice, we went with them. I did some google search of this company, and they seem very legit and have high ratings.
On the date of arrival, we waited for about 20 minutes, then the representative from the car rental company arrived and picked us up. It’s about a 15 minutes car ride from the airport to where the company is, and while we were shown with our cars, we were slightly disappointed, as the cars seems to be a bit dated. It’s the first time I’ve rented a car in Japan that doesn’t have reverse sensor, nor electronic key fobs…. Nevertheless, everything was functioning well, and I mean, safety comes first right? So as long as it’s a safe car, we are happy.
I’ve went thru the T&C briefly, purchased the optional CDW (collision damage waive) at 1,080yen/day, signed the contract, and here we go on our road trip!
Everything was fine with the car, only minor issues were every now and then, the GPS would go wack! It would all the sudden tell me to turn when there’s not a road, or it would suddenly show that I’m driving in the middle of the water lol. Half the time I ended up following my Google map on my phone instead.
On the 3rd day of the trip, when I was reversing the car, I must have gone blind, and crashed the rear of the car into the stone barrier. The bumper ended up with some very visible scratches and dint. As there were no third party involved, and the stone barrier was not damaged, so I just took some photos of the car and drove off.
It’s been a busy summer month, in a blink, it’s already the end of August! Just before we approach the end of summer, I must write and let you all know about this Luke’s Lobster Summer Pop-up Shack in Omotesando area of Tokyo!
Originated from New York City, Luke’s Lobster is now it’s spread across the whole of United States, and opened its first International shack in Tokyo a few years back. If you have been to it’s first location in Omotesando, you would know how crazy the line is. It doesn’t matter at what hours you go, there’s always people lining up for it.
Last time round when I was in Tokyo, I was surprised when I discovered the Summer Pop-up Shack of the brand, and the best part of it, there’s no line! It’s a bit different to the original location, it’s a small corner store where you can sit down and eat (the other one is at an outdoor location for take away only). As it’s a bit hidden, it seems like not many people (even locals!) knows about it.
I gotta admit I’m not the type of girl who can cook a full 5 course meal at home, but I do however, enjoy baking a lot, and that’s probably because I have a sweet tooth. While I was on my last trip to Seoul, not only was I able to have the Hanbok experience (traditional Korean clothing), I was also able to join this amazing baking class held by I’m Green Guesthouse in Seongbuk-gu, which is only about half an hour away from Myeongdong.
So, I found this experience thru Airbnb. Despite the fact that I have been using them a lot for accommodations, it was the first Airbnb “experience” I’ve ever had. Airbnb launched this trips program at the end of last year, and it has been quite successful, with over 500 activities happening in 12 cities worldwide, and Seoul was one of them. I was really attracted by the photos promoting this baking class, and made a booking with them immediately.
The host/teacher is Yon Woo from I’m Green Guest House, she was very kind, and gave very clear direction on how to get to her place. I arrived at the guest house around 10:30am, and was greeted warmly by Yon Woo, her assistant Arailym, and her husband Kitae. I was really amazed and impressed when I walked into the guest house, it’s so neat and tidy, and very homey. The room where the activity took part was very spacious, and my eyes were attracted to all those different types of teas on the shelf. It was only after talking with them that I know Yon Woo teaches students how to make flower cupcakes, while her husband is a teacher of tea! Continue reading “Bloom Your Own Edible Flower Cupcake and Eat It in Seoul!”